Mattel’s new Maya Angelou Barbie doll has officially sold out. On Thursday, the famous toymaker unveiled the doll in celebration of the late poet’s activism and achievements. By Friday, it was already unavailable due to high demand. The dolls will be shipped in February in honor of Black history month.
Dr. Angelou’s Barbie doll is a part of Barbie’s Inspiring Women collector series. Launched in 2018, these dolls have been crafted after “nine heroic risk-takers whose work inspired the next generation of game-changers.” Her doll serves as the tenth role model to join the series. Other role model dolls include aviator Amelia Earhart, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, civil rights icon Rosa Parks, astronaut Sally Ride, tennis legend Billie Jean King, celebrated jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale and suffragette Susan B. Anthony.
“Our efforts include a commitment to spotlight more Black role models who are female, and now, we are introducing a doll that honors Dr. Maya Angelou, author and activist who used her voice and unique writing style to connect with people and inspire generations,” Mattel said in a press release.
As a writer, author, activist, and teacher, Dr. Maya Angelou has received numerous awards and accolades including over 50 honorary doctorates, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and a National Book Award nomination for her 1970 autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. In 1993, she became the first African American and female poet to speak at a U.S. Presidential inauguration.
Angelou passed away in 2014 at the age of 86.